CORRUPTION AFFECTS WOMEN IN NIGERIA: A Cankerworm that feed on its host!
Corrupt practices exist round the world; it is like a cankerworm that delights in feeding on its host without minding what the host is being through. Corruption is being dishonest for personal gain and in the expense of others, corruption defiles a country.
Corruption in Nigeria Apart from sports, one other thing that unites Nigerian citizens is the war against corruption. Corruption has been generally accepted as evil and responsible for the nation’s gross underdevelopment. With the high amount of human and material resources abound in the country, it is believed that Nigeria was supposed to be counted among the first twenty industrialized nations in the world.
From every perspective, corruption or corrupt practices has to do with fraudulent activity especially syphon funds that are meant for the general populace for one’s aggrandizement only. Right from the beginning, corruption has been a vermin that has been killing and discouraging Nigeria from moving up or welcoming new innovations. From historical point of view, Nigerian government had in the hands of those who only care for themselves, putting aside the yearnings of the entire populace. Gone are the days when merit, ability, honesty and transparency, as I understand, has meaning in Nigeria government. The likes of Pa Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, General Murtala Muhammed, Tunde Idiagbon (all of blessed memory) would never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria for being leaders with proven records of achievement One other lake that waters the roots of corruption in Nigeria is the nation’s wrong social orientation. Human beings are created naturally to be honored and respected. Unfortunately, the contemporary Nigerian society no longer honor citizens based on their industry, intellect, or integrity. People are now recognized based on their movable and immovable assets. That is the reason why a Nigerian would own a fleet of fifteen choice cars and build or buy castles in all major cities of the world. Up till now, no Nigerian citizen has been conferred with national honor for not dipping hands into government purse while in office.
In hospitals and medical centers, patients (who are mostly women & children) are made to buy medication or pay for services which should ordinarily be provided for free. Situations of false scarcity or bottlenecks are created causing panic and forcing patients to not only pay the service providers for items which are available but also show gratitude for the favor done in providing the “exclusive” service.
In the field of politics and decision making, corruption denies women a level playing field necessary for participation on grounds of merit. In the last general elections held in Nigeria, International Federation of Women lawyers (FIDA) came across a number of cases where names of women who had legitimately won primaries in their parties were replaced with those of their male counterparts.
In the education sector in Nigeria, parents are often forced to pay bribes to enable their wards gain admission to education and training facilities. Stories abound of women being asked to give sexual favors in return for pass marks. It is accepted that better access to justice for women can be achieved through greater representation in the political and decision making process. This is still a problem in most countries of the sub region where the 30% representation of women as recommended by the Protocol is still a mirage.
Ensuring convictions for corrupt practices a number of countries have set up structures to combat corruption – an example is the EFCC of Nigeria. It is however more important for those structures to begin to yield results in terms of convictions of offenders. This will certainly serve as a boost in the war against corruption by reason of its deterrent effect. It is necessary to show that everyone is subject to the law.
There are a lot of reforms that will help curb corruption in Nigeria and better its citizens but the problem is, there is no political WILL to implement them and the Nigerian citizens’ inability to ask for, and demand greater accountability from their elected leaders isn’t helping matters.
Finally, the keys to effectively managing corruption in any society are honesty and integrity, effective leadership and governance, transparency and accountability, because corrupt leaders cannot wage effective war against corruption.